Making Meaning in Therapy: How to Help People Shape Their Lives

Presented by Jake Eagle, LPC on 10-16-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

The one truth in the world of psychotherapy and interpersonal dynamics is that all meaning is made up.

As therapists, we help people in therapy explore how they make meaning.

  • Do they frame their world through a victim/perpetrator model, or a personal empowerment model?
  • Do they see their world through their eyes, or the eyes of others?
  • Do they live in a dualistic world or right/wrong and good/bad, or a pluralistic world of diverse views?
  • Do they try to discard parts of themselves that they don't like, or integrate those parts?

The meaning that our clients make creates exactly the lives that they have today. When we help people alter the meaning of one event in their lives, it's comparable to giving them a meal—temporary sustenance. When we teach people how they can change meaning independently, we are teaching them how to feed themselves.

The extraordinary thing about our work as therapists is that we can help people learn to make meaning in ways that are constructive, healing, and empowering. Our single greatest tool is our ability to help our clients shape not only the meaning of their lives, but the meaning that they make moment to moment.

But most of us never had a class or a practicum in "how to make meaning." We do some of it instinctively. Some of us have learned how to reframe, or use techniques like NLP's Perceptual Positions, or EMDR, which alters meaning though we aren't sure exactly how it works.

This web conference will help you learn to be more intentional and skilled in helping your clients shape the meaning of the events in their lives. The approach you will learn is based on the pioneering work of John Weir, PhD, professor of psychology at Caltech during the 1960s. Dr. Weir created a linguistic technique, originally called Percept, which is now known as ReSpeak. After Dr. Weir retired at the age of 85, he spent the next six years mentoring Jake Eagle who is one of the stewards of Dr. Weir's legacy.

This intermediate, instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Demonstrate how language can be used as a mindfulness practice.
  2. Determine how to model a way of speaking that invites clients to take responsibility for their feelings.
  3. Describe how to shift from a victim/perpetrator language pattern to an empowerment language pattern.
  4. Explain how to disconnect present events from historical interpretations of those events.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

Event Reviews from Members

Very thought-provoking. - Bruce Campbell, LMFT

Great information about how to model a way of speaking that invites clients to take responsibility for their feelings. - Patzia Gonzalez, RP, DCEP

Jake is very passionate about his subject. Inspirational. - Erik Rostamian, LSW

Loved being reminded of the use of language as a tool in counseling and the specific utilization of ReSpeak approaches. - Catherine Gruener, LCPC, NCC

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Just want CE credits? Sign up for a monthly or annual CE Subscription with GoodTherapy to get unlimited access to our CE Program, including this event, other live CE web conferences, and hundreds of hours of homestudy courses.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.

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Meet the Presenter

Jake Eagle, LPC

Jake Eagle, LPC

Jake Eagle is a licensed mental health counselor and co-founder of He is the author of ReRight Your Life, An Introduction to Reology, as well as co-author of Holistic NLP for Japan. Eagle is also the creator of Dating Relating Mating: The Ultimate Relationship Program.

Jake has been in private practice for 22 years. He blogs regularly on the topic of psychotherapy, and co-founded NLP Santa Fe in 1994. He studied for four years with a master therapist who spent his life living in the remote desert, and then worked for another six years with two other pioneers that had devoted their life to what is now known as Reology.

Jake and his wife Hannah Eagle, who is a homeopath, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They co-lead retreats for therapists and laypeople at various locations around the world. To learn more about their work, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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